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Small installation problems, compressor size and condensation

Small installation problems, compressor size and condensation

(OP)
Hi guys,

We have an auxiliary pneumatic system for service about 5000h hours/year supplied by a 100L/min oilless recip. consisting in:

cp from atm to 9bar - pulsating damper+discharge valve - safety+check valve - 40um filter+timed drain
- 20L reservoir+timed drain - 5bar regulator - end consumptions (not special air requirements or dew point for these).

We have detected the following issues by order of relevance:
1- consumption is higher than expected and compressor cycle is high (50% or more probably), this is causing a very low life expectancy (<2 years). This is the big topic.
2- we have some (limited comparing the former problem) condensation problems, i.e. we have feedback about membrane issues in the regulator causing leaks.

I have to justify the modifications (for existing and for the new design) and managment seems to think that just a bigger compressor will solve the main issue; my fear is that we could cause a bigger condensation problem with that "simple" solution.

My guess is that due to high consumtion and cycle load we are not seeing big condensation problems because the air simply doest have much time to cold before going out (note there is no aftercooler currently). It is just a guess. Does that make sense for the more experienced of you?

We are working in a redesign for new installations and a "cost effective" improvement for existing ones
and assessing the following improvements:
- move to a higher capacity compressor with increased lifer, Do you think that oil recip. will work better for
this application?.
- add an aftercooler. where would you add it in the current installation?
- we are thinking about move the filter after the reservoir, so aftercooler-resevoir-filter, to try to increase the condensation before the air goes to the regulator.
- add a membrane dryer before the exit to the regulator.
- due to cost constrains and to space constraints, specially in the old installations, add all of them is very problematic, so I need to get a compromise.

Any comment will be welcomed, thanks for reading!

RE: Small installation problems, compressor size and condensation

You should contact the air compressor manufacturer/or representative and have them solve your problems because, regardless of what our responses are, we do not have all the facts about the pressurized air system. Obviously, condensation can be addressed several ways, however, the reciprocating compressor reps. would be in a better position since they would physically survey the entire air system for a better assessment.

RE: Small installation problems, compressor size and condensation

(OP)
Hi Chicopee

Actually the compressor manuf. is not very helpful as they are big productors for lab/medical small compressors and our industry application with a higher duty requirement and some history of problems is more a problem than a client for them.

I am convinced we shall change the compressor, any reccomandation regarding the filter-separator, better before or after the reservoir?
From catalog "typical" reccomendations and seeing usual compressor+reservoir sets I think that better before...

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